A Child's Drawing, 1941

A woman ladder leans
with her two-year-old boy in her arms.
Her arms & legs & hands & feet
are thin as crayons.

The man ladder
is holding his glass of bourbon,
he is coming out of the child’s drawing
in his old open pajamas—

he’s in the war. The sky
is blackest crayon-canyon.
When does he leave again? When he leaves,
I leave.          I like that river the sky.

Jean Valentine, "A Child’s Drawing, 1941" from Shirt in Heaven. Copyright © 2015 by Jean Valentine.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.
Source: Shirt in Heaven (Copper Canyon Press, 2015)
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